Saturday, June 24, 2017


At one of my management positions, the company employed an assiduous Private Investigator who was sedulous in ferreting out and proving fraud by employees claiming Workers Compensation for alleged accidents and other fraudulent claims.  We worked closely together on numerous occasions and I oftentimes said that he had an automatic "BS DETECTOR";  I guess I could have used the euphemism MALE BOVINE FECAL MATTER DETECTOR!

One case involved a woman named Amanda who had claimed a back injury and was receiving medical care and Workers Compensation.  One day, I went into the women's restroom at work, and as I was in a stall, I heard a voice say, very sotto voce, "I thought you should know that Mandy is working under the table at her step-father's car dealership in Urbana."  I did not know the identity of the whisperer but I hurried back to the office and called the P.I. and he said, "I'll have to check all the dealers in Urbana to try to figure out which one."  I said, "Maybe her personnel file would have her mother's married name as her next of kin and we could find out that way."  I went to Human Resources and voila; there was Mandy's mama's name on her application.  The P.I. said, "You just saved your Company money by thinking of that;  you should be a P.I. in another life!"

When the P.I. went to the dealership, he wore his arm in a sling.  He told Mandy that he wanted to test-drive a car, and he asked her to do the driving, lift up the hood, show him the spare tire, etc.;  all of the activities were prohibited by the restrictions for her alleged injury.   Of course she was unaware that she was being filmed and recorded.

Not only was she charged with committing fraud to the company and Workers Compensation, but she was also reported for not claiming her under-the-table income from her step-father. 

She never knew what had transpired until her hearing and she actually said, "This isn't fair, it's entrapment." Afterwards, the P.I. said to me, "She watched too many TV shows, didn't she?"

After leaving that company, I recommended him and his company whenever I was involved with resolving suspicious claims at my other places of employment.

Friday, June 23, 2017


Anthroponymy is the term for choosing names.

Especially interesting to me are "reduplicated names":

I know a Lewis Lewis.  I wondered, "Of all the names in the world, they chose Lewis as his first name!"

I know a Beverly Beverly.

I know three people named Jesse James (one pictured--LOL)

Evans Evans, an American actress

Fei Fei, an Asian actress

Lisa Lisa, an American singer

Sylvain Sylvain, an American guitarist

Thomas Thomas, a science fiction writer

Helle Helle, Danish author

Wilson Wilson, American actor (the next-door neighbor, always behind the fence, on Home Improvement)

My brother just interjected, "How about Sirhan Sirhan?"

Some examples of WTH were the parents thinking?:  

DWARD FARQUAHR was Dody Goodman's dance teacher in Columbus, OH and she would talk about him with Jack Paar on The Tonight Show. 

Dick Sweat was a NH congressman

Ron Tugnutt (former NHL player)

Andy Friese (another race car driver)

Dick Trickle, NASCAR driver (pictured)

Candace was a very popular name some forty years ago:  Gerald's niece's name is Penelope Candace--they wanted to call her Penny Candy! (WHY do people name a child and then say, "We named him/her that so we can call him/her...": some NICKNAME? Why don't they just name the child the name they are going to call them?)

My sister-in-law had a cousin whose last name was BARR; she ALMOST named her daughter Candace; fortunately, my sister-in-law advised her that the child would inevitably be nicknamed by somebody as Candy and she would live as Candy Barr;  fortunately, she chose another name.

Scarlet Ann Gray: to my knowledge, she was featured in the The Columbus Dispatch three different times:

1. When she was born--her father claimed to be the world's biggest Ohio State University fan.

2. When she started college--at THE Ohio State University.

3. When she married--I bet she was glad to change her name.

Thursday, June 22, 2017


In yesterday's blog, I wrote about the death of Andrew Goodman, who along with Michael Schwerner and James Chaney, was murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi on June 21, 1964.

My Mantelpiece A Memoir Of Survival And Social Justice was written by Dr. Carolyn Goodman, the mother of Andy Goodman.  The book is a wrenching story of dealing with the murder of her son and the continuing fight for social justice.  With her, I still grieve for "what might have been" and mourn the loss of those heroes of the struggle for civil rights.

After Andy's death, Dr. Goodman and Andy's father Robert Goodman, created The
Andrew Goodman Foundation. To quote from the book: "The Foundation was created to carry on the spirit and purpose of Andy's life, with the vision that every person will take action to create a peaceful, just, and sustainable world. The Foundation empowers the next generation to initiate and sustain social action, enabling leaders and their communities to flourish by operating and investing in programs that advance civic engagement and intergenerational coalitions."

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


November 23, 1943--June 21, 1964

"HE TRAVELED A SHORT WHILE TOWARDS THE SUN AND LEFT THE VIVID AIR SIGNED WITH HIS HONOR"--from Andrew Goodman's tombstone (paraphrasing a quote from Stephen Spender's poem,  I Think Of Those Who Are Truly Great)

Andrew Goodman (photo above) was born on November 23, 1943, in New York City and was reared on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the second of three sons of Robert and Carolyn Goodman and brother to David and Jonathan. The Goodmans were an intellectual family committed to progressive activism and social justice. They believed in "doing well by doing good";  Andy was an activist from the age of fifteen; he graduated from the progressive Walden School which was known for its anti-authoritarian approach to learning. While a sophomore at Walden, Goodman traveled to Washington D.C., to participate in the "Youth March For Integrated Schools" and as a senior, he and a friend visited a depressed coal mining region in West Virginia to prepare a report on poverty in the United States. He interviewed Jackie Robinson, one of his heroes.

Goodman attended the Honors Program at University of Wisconsin--Madison, for a semester but withdrew after falling ill with pneumonia. He transferred to Queens College, New York City, partly because of its strong drama department. With his brief experience as an off-Broadway actor, he originally planned to study drama, but switched to anthropology.

In April, 1964, he applied for and was accepted into the Mississippi Summer Project. He volunteered, along with Michael Schwerner, to work as part of "Freedom Summer", a CORE (Congress Of Racial Equality) project to register blacks to vote in Mississippi. Having protested U.S. President Lyndon Johnson's presence at that year's World's Fair, Goodman then left for training at the Western College For Women (now part of Miami University) in Oxford, OH. In June, Schwerner and Goodman were sent to Mississippi to begin registering blacks to vote.

On the night of June 20, 1964, the two reached Meridian, Mississippi, where Schwerner (photo left) was designated to be the head of the field office. There they joined with James Earl Chaney, a black man who was also a civil rights activist. On the morning of June 21, 1964, the three set out for Philadelphia, Mississippi, in Neshoba County, where they were to investigate the recent burning of a local black church, the Mount Zion Methodist Church, which had been designated as a site for the Freedom School for education and voter registration.

The three were initially arrested by Deputy Cecil Price for allegedly driving 35 miles over the 30-mile-per-hour speed limit. The three were taken to the jail in Neshoba County where Chaney (photo left) was booked for speeding, while Goodman and Schwerner were booked "for investigation".

After Chaney was fined $20, the three men were released and told to leave the county. Price followed them on State Route 19 to the county line, then turned around at approximately 10:30 p.m. On their way back to Meridian, they were stopped by two carloads of KKK members on a remote rural road. The men approached their car and then shot and killed Schwerner, followed by Goodman, and finally Chaney.

Eventually the Neshoba County Deputy Sheriff and conspirators were convicted by Federal prosecutors of civil rights violations but were never convicted of murder. The case formed the basis of a made-for-television movie Attack On Terror:  the FBI vs. The Ku Klux Klan" and the feature film Mississippi Burning.

On September 14, 2004, the Mississippi State Attorney General Jim Hood announced that he was gathering evidence for a charge of murder and intended to take the case to a Grand Jury. On January 7, 2005, Edgar Ray Killen was arrested and later found guilty of three counts of manslaughter--not murder--on June 21, 2005, exactly 41 years to the day after the murders. Killen, then age 80, was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Andy's parents, Robert and Carolyn Goodman, set up the Andrew Goodman Foundation in 1966. The mission of the Foundation is "to recognize, encourage and inspire creative and effective local and individual action in support of civil rights, human dignity and social justice". Visit

Goodman Mountain, a 2,176 foot peak in the Adirondack Mountain town of Tupper Lake, NY, where Andy Goodman and his family spent many of their summers, is named in Andy Goodman's memory.

New York City named "Freedom Place" a four-block stretch in Manhattan's Upper West Side, in honor of Goodman. A plaque on 70th and West End Avenues tells his story.

Queens College has a memorial to honor Andy Goodman. The day of his murder is acknowledged each year on campus and the clock tower of the campus library is dedicated to Goodman, Chaney, and Schwerner.

The Walden School, at 88th Street and Central Park West, named its middle and upper school building in honor of Goodman's memory. The Trevor Day School now occupies the building and has maintained their building's name as the Andrew Goodman Building.

An outdoor memorial theater exists at Miami University in Oxford, OH, dedicated to the Freedom Summer alums. Miami University's now defunct Western College for Women, also included historical lectures about Freedom Summer.

Those Three Are On My Mind was written by Pete Seeger to commemorate the three victims.

The Simon and Garfunkel song, He Was My Brother was dedicated to Goodman. Paul Simon had been a classmate of Goodman at Queens College.

To hear He Was My Brother,  click on the arrow below.

Andy lives forever in the hearts of his family and friends.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Gerald and I saw a perfect rainbow tonight, but unfortunately he did not have his camera with him and missed the opportunity to capture the exquisite image.  By the time we arrived home, the rainbow had vanished.

I now wish I had listened to the salesman when I purchased the new cell phone--a so-called "smart phone"-- as he was explaining about the camera application. I don't do well taking pictures so I wasn't interested in learning how to use the camera function. Now I wish I had!

At home I told my brother about seeing that perfect rainbow and I compared it to the thrill of seeing seadog formations.  I have seen a seadog formation only twice.  Each time it occurred, it was during foggy and warm mornings when I saw the faint rainbow-like formations; the sunlight reflects in the fog droplets and it produces a ghostly, whitish rainbow.

Seadog formations are also called fogbows, mistbows, and white rainbows.

When I said "seadog formation", my brother asked, "You mean they have those old Navy guys marching?" 

Monday, June 19, 2017


HAPPY 46th ANNIVERSARY to my husband.

We had a large celebration for our 25th anniversary.  My brother Ken shouted, "Toast! Toast!" Gerald lifted up a champagne glass filled with Coca-Cola to offer a toast and he said: "I married her for her sense of humor, but then I found out the joke was on me." I responded, "You didn't have the nerve to say that on our wedding day." He answered, "I was scared to death on our wedding day."

His reason for toasting with the champagne glass filled with Coca Cola was because on our honeymoon, we were having dinner at a very nice restaurant and I glanced at another table and saw a couple toasting each other with champagne. I said, "Awwwww, that's so
romantic." My new husband asked, "Sweetheart, would you like some champagne?" Wistfully, I said, "No, I just want to be toasted!" My husband summoned the waiter, and I swear he actually said, "Garcon!"  He asked the waiter for two champagne glasses and that he wanted them empty.  When the waiter brought the glasses, Gerald emptied our Coca-Cola into the glasses and lifted his glass and said, "Here's looking at you, kid." (OK, he had to borrow from Bogie on that one!)

 Happy 46th Anniversary!

Sunday, June 18, 2017


Shortly after becoming the first female Manufacturing Supervisor at Mead, there was an opening for a Corrugator Supervisor. Nearly all promotions were made from in-house applicants, but this time the Company hired someone from another Company.  Sam, the new Supervisor, quickly demonstrated his ability and turned around the Department in a short amount of time. He exuded self-confidence and strode through the plant with quite a self-assured swagger. In addition to that, he was an attractive man.

I seldom had any interaction with Sam, because he spent his breaks in his section.  I did not go out to the local "watering holes" after work as most of the other Supervisors did, and neither did Sam. The Corrugator Department finished a half-hour before the other departments and Sam was always long-gone by the time the other Department Supervisors gathered in the mutual office to finish paperwork. The only time that Sam and I would be together was during the monthly inventory, because, as the "newbies", we were thrown together.  Sam was all-business, never made small-talk, and was in no way flirtatious. On Inventory Day, the other guys would go out at lunch and have drinks, but Sam said he just wanted to get done as quickly as possible, as did I.  Sam lived in Chillicothe.

Within a few weeks of his arrival, the other supervisors began making "catty" remarks about Sam and, I am ashamed of myself NOW, because I did not speak up to defend him. Being the only female and wanting to be accepted by my colleagues was my rationale, but it surely wasn't the person I should have been.  It was obvious that all the others were jealous of Sam and I think it was mostly because he was an outsider who had easily proved that he was superior to them and that he neither needed--nor wanted--their approval.  However, their real fear was that  they saw him as promotable, which was not a fear of mine.   Oh, that green-eyed monster! Soon, the nasty comments turned into rumors about Sam.  I listened to the rumors, and I admit I enjoyed some of the salacious stories, but I did not repeat them.  I berated myself about the sins of commission versus the sins of omission but did not leap to Sam's defense.

One time after Inventory we were all told to meet in the conference room and we all knew it was to be a "Come To Jesus" moment! The Manufacturing Manager started to speak about the vile rumors being circulated throughout the plant on all shifts and it had come to his attention that members of management were involved in spreading the rumors. Several of the Supervisors were looking at their feet and others making sidelong glances at others and everyone was definitely uncomfortable as the boss said that if he found out who was spreading such tales they would be terminated. He ended his furious speech by asking if there were any comments or questions.

Only Sam raised his hand. The Manager, along with all assembled, looked stunned because every person in that room knew he'd been talking about Sam. Sam said that he had only been with the Company a short time, but in that time he'd never heard anything bad said about anybody and that the stories must be coming from the hourly workers because he knew it couldn't be coming from management people!

His magnanimity was so amazing that, at that moment,  I vowed to myself that in the future, I would contradict any negative thing ever said about Sam.

Months later, the Blizzard struck and Gerald came in the Scout to rescue me at work.  Sam could not get home to Chillicothe and he asked Gerald to take him to a motel.  I said, "We have an extra room; you can come home with us and you can probably wear some of Gerald's clothes or I can wash yours!" I was surprised that Sam accepted. He was with us for three days and the Sheriff's Department called to ask if Gerald was the Raypole with a 4-Wheel Drive vehicle because they wanted him to volunteer to help. I told them he was already out helping my brother who was in the National Guard. Sam was out with Gerald helping. Every time they would return home Sam would ask to use the phone to call his wife and kids and I could hear him talking to them. In those three days I really got to know Sam and learned what a wonderful family man he was.   My mother, who we characterized as NOT liking anybody, said, "I like THAT guy!"

The last evening he was there, we were alone, sitting around the fireplace and I asked, "Sam, you remember when we had the meeting about the rumors about a Supervisor?" He smiled and responded, "Yeah, why?" I asked, "Did you know Joe was talking about you?" He laughed and said, "Of course I did!" I asked, "Then why did you say those nice things?" He answered, "I wanted them to feel even WORSE than they already did!"   Although I had never felt complicit, I told him I had always felt guilty.  He said, "Oh, Hell, I knew you were fighting your own battles;  if they weren't beating up on me, it was you!"

He said, "All I want is to come to work, do a good job and go home and be with my family." I said, "Then there's a pair of us--don't tell, they'd banish us you know." He looked quizzical and I said, "It's a poem by Emily Dickinson."  

He said, "You know, I'm not educated and I keep to myself because I don't want others to know that." I said, "But everyone is envious of your self-confidence and ability." He said, "That's why I keep to myself because ability is all that I have and I don't need others to know that I'm not educated like they are!" I told him the quote: "Better to be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt." He said, "That's good, who said it?" I said, "It's been attributed to Abe Lincoln, George Eliot, and Mark Twain in different forms." He said, "Write it down for me."

I said, "Sam, they are all scared of you because they know that you are superior to them!" I continued, "You haven't even been here a year and they're all scared that if somebody retires, you'll get the promotion!" He said, "You're kidding; I'll never get off a Corrugator!" I said, "You should start college; the Company pays 75% tuition!" He said, "I've got four kids and a wife." I said, "Well, you can take a few hours at a time. You got your crew off overtime; you should have plenty of time now!"

After the Blizzard, when we would be doing Inventory, we would talk a great deal and he would always ask for a new quote. I'd told him about a guy at The New York Times who was called "Quote Boy" and Sam began calling me "Quote Girl". The others would see us chatting and they would oftentimes ask me questions about Sam but I always kept his confidence. I would always answer, "Ask Sam if you want to know something about him."   I also noticed the coolness toward me after I quit being a "participant" against Sam.

Sam never went to college and he eventually left the Company for the same kind of job with another Company making much more money. We exchanged Christmas cards for a few years and then I lost contact. I clicked on Facebook recently and found his wife and learned of his death.  She said, "Sam always called you Quote Girl;  he kept a list of your quotes."  I was glad it was a telephone conversation as I would have been embarrassed for her to see the tears in my eyes and the lump in my throat.

He is still one of the people I have most admired in my work life.  I wish I had told him, but I think he knew.

For my friend Sam from his Quote Girl

By Emily Dickinson

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -- don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know. 

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Today my friend Francie and I were discussing mis-quoting and I mentioned a famous quote by George Santayana being attributed to Churchill and others.  She asked, "Are you the one who sent the cartoon to me about that?"   When she told me the content of the cartoon, I answered, "No, but I MUST see it!"  See the cartoon here:

The following is an article from Sue's News published in 2010:


At a training session at BMY, one of the instructors quoted, "As Winston Churchill said, 'Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'".   I raised my hand and told him, "That's actually a quote from George Santayana." The instructor imperiously told me that I was WRONG. My mother always said that I was "briggety" (we can't find the word in ANY dictionary, but we've used it all of our lives), so I challenged him with, "So how much money did your wife let you bring with you today?" [This is the smart-alecky thing my brothers always say when they are ready to bet somebody!] He asked, with great indignation, "What does THAT mean?" I answered, "That means that however much money you have in your wallet is how much I'm going to bet you that I'm RIGHT!" There were a lot of "ooohs" in the classroom and one person interjected, "I wouldn't want to bet with HER if I were you!"

The instructor did not say another word at the time, and instead of acting like a stand-up person, after the class, he reported me to my boss John Wood. John told me that my behavior was inappropriate but laughed and said that he wouldn't bet with me either!

I believed that the instructor was the one who behaved inappropriately. The next day, I brought my beloved copy of Bartlett's Familiar Quotations " to work with me (inscribed from my friend: "We're quite a PAIR--my Bartlett's and ME!"--she knew how I love puns--PAIR/PEAR), and made copies of the quote for the instructor, John Wood, and all of my fellow classmates.

Do you think that the instructor had the graciousness to tell the class he had been wrong? Of course not!  Instead, we had a joint meeting with John Wood to "resolve our differences"; fortunately, John Wood told the instructor that he could have avoided the entire incident if he had merely thanked me for giving him the correct information.

You can imagine what kind of evaluation I gave the instructor!

Friday, June 16, 2017


My friend Mona Lisa sent GREAT TRUTHS to me.  I sent the George Bernard Shaw quote to her.


1. No matter how hard you try, you can't baptize cats.
2. When your Mom is mad at your Dad, don't let her brush your hair.
3. If your sister hits you, don't hit her back. They always catch the second person.
4. Never ask your 3-year old brother to hold a tomato.
5. You can't trust dogs to watch your food.
6 Don't sneeze when someone is cutting your hair.
7. Never hold a Dust-Buster and a cat at the same time.
8. You can't hide a piece of broccoli in a glass of milk.
9. Don't wear polka-dot underwear under white shorts.
10. The best place to be when you're sad is Grandma's lap.


1. Raising teenagers is like nailing jelly to a tree.
2. Wrinkles don't hurt.
3. Families are like fudge....mostly sweet, with a few nuts.
4. Today's mighty oak is just yesterday's nut that held its ground.
5. Laughing is good exercise. It's like jogging on the inside.
6. Middle age is when you choose your cereal for the fiber, not the toy.


1. Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
2. Forget the health food. I need all the preservatives I can get.
3. When you fall down, you wonder what else you can do while you're down there.
4. You're getting old when you get the same sensation from a rocking chair that you once got from a roller coaster.
5. It's frustrating when you know all the answers, but nobody bothers to ask you the questions.
6. Time may be a great healer, but it's a lousy beautician.
7. Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.


1. You believe in Santa Claus.
2. You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3. You are Santa Claus.
4. You look like Santa Claus.


At age 4 success is..........Not piddling in your pants.
At age 12 success is........Having friends.
At age 17 success is........Having a driver's license.
At age 35 success is........Having money.
At age 50 success is........Having status.
At age 70 success is........Having a driver's license.
At age 75 success is........Having friends.
At age 80 success is........Not piddling in your pants.

Thursday, June 15, 2017


I admit that I am a sucker for Facebook quizzes.  How else would I have known that the President I am most like is Mr. Lincoln and that I was Aristotle in a past life?  However, I hated the one which revealed the actress I was most like was Katharine Hepburn--whom I dislike--when I know for certain that I am more like the divine AUDREY!

 Here is one question from a Facebook quiz asking "HOW MUCH OF AN OHIOAN ARE YOU?":

Question:  Someone just asked you a question that you did not quite hear.  How do you ask them to repeat the question?

1.  "Come again?"
2.   "What?"
3.   "Huh?"
4.   "Please?"

I'll bet that you have heard all of those because I know I have.  I guess that "Excuse me, I didn't hear you."  is not an option.

Oh, by the way, I scored 41% on that quiz and did NOT share it.

I guess I'll discontinue my "quizzing"  because I recently learned that one naming one's favorite movies was an identity-theft scam!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


This Sue's News article was published in 2011:

                                                           FLAG ETIQUETTE 

Yesterday, in watching a politician deliver a speech, I could not help but notice that she had, very pretentiously, posed in front of a United States flag, when she delivered her speech via the internet. While the politician probably believed that the United States flag, positioned next to the fireplace of her home broadcast studio, made her somehow look presidential, anyone who knows flag etiquette, knows that it only demonstrated her ignorance. For one who constantly "waves the flag" and figuratively wraps herself in the flag, as a grand show of her patriotism, she should actually take time to learn about the flag. She is one who routinely brands as unpatriotic those with whom she disagrees.

The flag should have been placed to her right, not to her left.

The Flag Etiquette Guide (Flag Display FAQ) provided by the American Legion, clearly states:

"When used on a speaker's platform, the flag, if displayed flat, should be displayed above and behind the speaker. When displayed in a church, public auditorium, or meeting place, the flag should hold the position of superior prominence, in advance of the audience, and in the position of honor at the speaker's right as he faces the audience."

Prior to the Flag Code changes in 1976, the display procedure was somewhat different. Now, the staffed flag should always be placed to the right of the speaker (observer's left) without regard to a platform or floor level.

My brothers and I are very strict in dealing with flags. I have set up meetings and events and have had to correct people a number of times about flag placement. I've been known to stop at the residences of strangers to inform them that flags were incorrectly displayed, or other problems.  This past fall, on a windy day, I noticed that a flag pole was bent and the flag was touching the ground. I stopped and went to the door and a disabled veteran came to the door and I helped him to aright his flag.

I can recall in the 1970s when flag-burning was rampant, and although it was anathema to me personally, I defended the First Amendment right to do it. In a debate, I can recall that I said that I found it far more offensive that country and western singers wore costumes with flags on their butts. My brother said, "Nobody can destroy my flag because it's in here." as he touched his chest, all the while defending the First Amendment right of others to do as they believed.

I don't need to wear patriotic paraphernalia to proclaim--or advertise--my patriotism.  I remember the silly controversy about candidates NOT wearing flag lapel pins.  As Maya Angelou said:

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


In yesterday's Sue's News, I referred to an acquaintance who had claimed to be a descendent of Abraham Lincoln.  The following article from Sue's News in 2013, is my favorite of all the genealogical references I have heard.

                         "TODAY WE CALL THAT RAPE" 

At the Genealogical Society meeting this month, one member told how she had been surprised by the DNA testing she'd had performed by The National Geographic Society (see information below) which showed she had a great amount of Middle Eastern ancestry.

I said, "You'll probably be put on a Watch List soon and not be able to board an airplane!"

She said she was shocked to learn that she had Middle Eastern ancestors because her family surname was from Alsace-Lorraine and all of her life she'd been told that they were "French".

When the earlier ancestors came from the Ottoman Empire they had the surname "de Turk" which meant they were from Turkey.  She had a chart that showed her ancestors in the 1400's and one of them was Murad II and in her presentation she mentioned that each time Murad would conquer a new territory, he would "add another wife". I screaked, "Today we call that RAPE."

She said that her particular Middle Eastern female link was to a woman--an "added wife"--which she pronounced as "Fa-teem-uh".  A friend asked if it was supposed to be pronounced "Fat-uh-muh" like Our Lady of Fatima.  I said, "They were probably Islamic;  Mohammed's daughter was named Fatimah; hers is spelled with an "h" on the end and Fatima is the town in Portugal of Our Lady Of Fatima."

It seems somehow comforting to reflect on our ancestors and our little link with history, but we oftentimes forget that some of own ancestors were probably NOT the heroes/heroines we would like to imagine or believe them to be. I always say that I want to find miscreants, scoundrels, scalawags, caitiffs, and rapscallions in my tree, but alas, I've found a bunch of teachers, men of the cloth, and farmers.

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Murad II, (born June 1404, Amasya, Ottoman Empire [now in Turkey]—died February 3, 1451, Edirne), Ottoman sultan (1421–44 and 1446–51) who expanded and consolidated Ottoman rule in the Balkans, pursued a policy of restraint in Anatolia, and helped lead the empire to recovery after its near demise at the hands of Timur following the Battle of Ankara (1402).

Early in his reign, Murad had to overcome several claimants to the Ottoman throne who were supported by the Byzantine emperor Manuel II Palaeologus and by many of the Turkmen principalities in Anatolia. By 1425 Murad had eliminated his rivals, had reestablished Ottoman rule over the Turkmen principalities of western Anatolia, and had once again forced Byzantium to pay tribute. He then turned his attention to the Balkans. In 1430, after a five-year struggle, he captured Salonika (modern Thessaloníki), in northern Greece, which had been under Venetian control. At first the Ottoman armies were successful against a Hungarian-Serbian-Karaman alliance; but after 1441, when the alliance expanded to include German, Polish, and Albanian forces, the Ottomans lost Niš and Sofia (1443) and were soundly defeated at Jalowaz (1444). After signing a peace treaty at Edirne (June 12, 1444), Murad abdicated in favour of his 12-year-old son, Mehmed II.

European powers, under the auspices of Pope Eugenius IV, soon broke the truce; and Murad, leading the Ottoman army, inflicted a severe defeat on the Christian forces at the Battle of Varna in November 1444. Under pressure from court notables and faced with external threats, Murad reassumed control of the state in 1446. In 1448 he defeated the Hungarians at the second Battle of Kosovo (October 17).

In Anatolia, Murad pursued a policy of caution because of the westward advance of the Timurid Shah Rokh, who posed as protector of the Turkmen principalities. The Ottomans gained suzerainty over the Turkmen rulers in the Çorum-Amasya region and in western Anatolia, but the principality of Karaman, which through its alliances with the Balkan Christian rulers was a major threat to the Ottomans, was left autonomous.

During Murad’s reign the office of Grand Vizier (chief minister) came to be dominated by the Çandarlı family. The Janissary Corps (elite forces) gained in prominence, and the hereditary Turkish frontier rulers in the Balkans often acted independently of the sultan.

From The National Geographic:

Join a real-time, landmark research project! Learn something about your deep ancestry while contributing to the overall success of the Project.

The Genographic Project is a global research partnership of National Geographic and IBM. With support for field research from the Waitt Family Foundation, Dr. Spencer Wells and a group of the world's leading scientists will attempt to collect and analyze more than 100,000 DNA samples from indigenous people all over the world. The goal of the Genographic Project is to learn about the migratory paths our ancestors took and how humankind populated the planet. Find more detailed information on the Genographic Project, at

The general public can actually take an active part in this remarkable effort by purchasing a Genographic Project Public Participation Kit and by submitting an anonymous sample of their DNA using an easy and painless cheek swab. By participating, you will not only contribute to this great endeavor, but you may discover something fascinating about your own genetic past as well. Furthermore, the proceeds from the sales of the Kits will be channeled back into the Project to support additional research and to fund education, cultural conservation, and language revitalization efforts for indigenous and traditional communities around the world.

Monday, June 12, 2017


Another moral dilemma:  when one hears a falsehood, should one confront it, correct it, or ignore it?

Recently, a person of my acquaintance claimed to be a "descendant" of Abraham Lincoln.  I considered correcting the "mistake", but did not.  What was her motive?  Perhaps she had been told that and wanted to believe it to be true, but why would she not have studied Lincoln's life--and descendants--if she actually believed the relationship were true?  Did she think her claim would impress the people in attendance?  

The article below was sent to me by my friend Carol Jo Robinson who was fascinated by the fact that Abraham Lincoln's son had been present at the deaths of three Presidents and that his life was saved by the brother of John Wilkes Boothe:


Robert Todd Lincoln was the only child of Abraham and Mary Lincoln to survive into adulthood. His three brothers died from illnesses at young ages. Robert lived until 1926, dying at the age of 83. Robert begged his father for a commission to serve in the Civil War, but President Lincoln refused and commented that the loss of two sons made risking the loss of a third out of the question. Robert's mother used every tactic to try to dissuade the President from appointing his son to serve in the war.

But Robert insisted, saying that if his father wouldn't help him, he would join on his own and fight with the front line troops; the President relented.

The President arranged for Robert's commission, but wired General Grant to assign "Captain Lincoln" to his staff, and to keep him well away from danger.

The assignment did, however, result in Robert's being present at Appomattox Court House, during the historic moment of Lee's surrender.

Then, the following week, while Robert was at the White House, he was awakened at midnight to be told of his father's having been shot, and was present at The Peterson House when his father died.

Robert's three brothers were Eddie, Willie, and Tad. Eddie died at age 4 in 1850, probably from thyroid cancer. Willie was the most beloved of all the boys. He died in the White House at age 11 in 1862, from what was most likely typhoid fever.

President Lincoln grieved greatly over Willie's death. Lincoln had a temporary tomb built for Willie, until they could return home with his body to Springfield, IL, and Lincoln often spent long periods of time at the tomb.

The Lincolns were known to be very permissive parents and Tad was known to be a real hellion. None of his tutors could control him; he grew up unable to read or write well. He was a "mama's boy", had a lisp, and was probably mildly retarded. He died at age 18 in 1871, most likely from the same thyroid cancer Eddie had died from, suggesting a genetic flaw.

Robert, at age 22, following his father's assassination, moved to Chicago with his mother, and brother Tad, who was 12 at the time. Robert finished law school and practiced law for a time.

As she had done as First Lady, Mary went on shopping binges that far exceeded common sense, driving what was left of the family assets into bankruptcy, and leading to numerous disputes between Robert and her.

Robert also had battles with Mary to keep her from destroying Lincoln's private papers, despite their financial worth, but for their historic value also, with Mary trying to tear them apart and burn them in fireplaces.

In fact, her irrational behavior grew so destructive that Robert had to have her put away, with his signature, signing her into a mental hospital, where she stayed locked up for three months. Mary never forgave him for it, and they remained estranged from then on, until Mary died at age 63 in 1882.

As an adult, Robert wrote there was a lot of distance between his father and him, caused mainly by his father's being absent so much of the time during Robert's formative years, as his father was gone a great deal of time on state-wide judicial circuits, campaigning for office, or serving in the state legislature. Robert wrote that his most vivid memories of his father were seeing him pack his saddle bags to be off again.

In 1868, Robert married a senator's daughter and they had three children--two girls and a boy--Abraham Lincoln's only grandchildren. Their son, whom they named Abraham Lincoln II (but whom they called "Jack") died in 1890, at the age of 15, from an infection arising from having a boil pierced under his arm.

The two daughters, however, lived fairly long lives, one living until 1938 to die at age 69, and the other until 1948, dying at age 72.

The last direct descendant of Abraham Lincoln was the child of one of Robert's daughters--Abraham Lincoln's great grandson--named Bud Beckwith, who died, married but childless, in 1985.

Robert went into politics and was highly regarded in those circles. In fact, he served as Secretary of War under President Garfield, and, incredibly, was with him when Garfield was shot at the Washington train station!

And then, some years later, Robert would also be present when President McKinley was gunned down in Buffalo!

In later years, Robert would grow a beard. He would serve in other political appointments and ambassadorships, and later became president of the Pullman Train Car Company, a booming enterprise at that time, and he would hold that position for the remainder of his life.

Robert was an avid amateur astronomer, and had an observatory built into his Vermont home; the telescope was so well built and powerful that's it's still used by a local astronomy club today!

Several times, Robert was offered the chance to run as President or Vice-President, and refused the offers.

In his 20's, Robert was standing on a train platform in Jersey City, crowded among a crowd of passengers attempting to buy sleeping berths from a haggard conductor, when the train moved. Robert was standing so close to the train that it spun him around and sent him dropping into the space between the train and the platform against a moving train threatening to crush him!

Suddenly, a hand grabbed Robert by the neck of his coat and pulled him up onto the platform, a quick action by a solidly strong man that may well have saved Robert's life.

And you know who that man was? It was Edwin Booth, the acclaimed stage actor--the brother of John Wilkes Booth--who had murdered Robert's father.

Below is Robert's sarcophagus at Arlington National Cemetery, where he's buried with his wife and son Jack.

Sunday, June 11, 2017


My brother commented that I had not published a 
"CRINGE--FAYETTE COUNTY TALK" article this year!  Since 2010, I have shared "FAYCO" twenty-two times.

With a great number of events came a great number of opportunities to add to the collection.




LIBARY rather than LIBRARY

FUTHER rather than FURTHER




NOTHER rather than ANOTHER

and, of course:

the use of IDEAL rather than IDEA!

Saturday, June 10, 2017


A friend was riding with me in my car to an event. Having ridden with Gerald and me numerous times, she knows that we have differing views on air conditioner usage.

When I turned on the air conditioner, she asked, "Doesn't Gerald think that you should drive with the windows open to save gas?"  

I said, "That's a myth."  She laughed and asked, "What does Gerald say?"  I said that it is an "ongoing discussion" with us!  

I told her that I had "researched" and that according to the Driving Skills For Life website:  "the power-robbing effect of air-conditioning compressors is less hurtful than the aerodynamic drag created by traveling down the road with the windows open, especially at highway speeds.

After accelerating to forty miles per hour, it is more fuel efficient to operate the air conditioner than to have the windows down.  The turbulence caused by open windows will require more horsepower, thus causing the vehicle to consume more fuel to maintain a steady speed."

The website recommends using the recirculation feature, because it is more effcient to cool already cooled air from the interior than outside air.  Another good tip is to run the vent fan setting once the interior cools down.

Friday, June 9, 2017


Mona Lisa called and said, "Hey, we haven't seen any GOOD TIPS lately."  Just for you, ML; this was published in 2011:

1. Reheat Pizza

Heat up leftover pizza in a nonstick skillet on top of the stove; set heat to medium-low and heat until warm. This keeps the crust crispy; no soggy micro pizza. I saw this on a cooking channel and it really works.

2. Easy Deviled Eggs

Put cooked egg yolks in a zip lock bag and seal. Mash until they are broken. Add remainder of ingredients, reseal, and keep mashing, mixing thoroughly. Cut the tip of the bag, squeeze mixture into egg white. Just throw bag away when finished.

3. Expanding Frosting

When you buy a container of cake frosting from the store, whip it with your mixer for a few minutes. This can double it in size. You get to frost more cake/cupcakes with the same amount. You also eat less sugar and calories per serving.

4. Reheating refrigerated bread

To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.

5. Newspaper weeds away

Start putting in your plants, work the nutrients in your soil. Wet newspapers, put layers around the plants overlapping as you go; cover with mulch and forget about weeds. Weeds will get through some gardening plastic; they will not get through wet newspapers.

6. Broken Glass

Use a wet cotton ball or Q-tip to pick up the small shards of glass you can't easily see.

7. No More Mosquitoes

Place a dryer sheet in your pocket; it will keep away the mosquitoes.

8. Squirrel Away

To keep squirrels from eating your plants sprinkle your plants with cayenne pepper. The cayenne pepper doesn't hurt the plant and the squirrels won't come near it.

9. Flexible vacuum

To get something out of a heat register or under the fridge add an empty paper towel roll or empty gift wrap roll to your vacuum. It can be bent or flattened to get in narrow openings.

10. Reducing Static Cling

Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress. The same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose. Place pin in seam of slacks and the static is gone.

11. Measuring Cups

Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water. Dump out the hot water, but don't dry cup. Next, add the ingredient, such as peanut butter, and watch how easily it releases.

12. Foggy Windshield

Buy a chalkboard eraser and keep it in the glove box of your car. When the windows fog, rub with the eraser. Works better than a cloth.

13. Reopening envelope

If you seal an envelope and then realize you forgot to include something inside, just place the sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two; it easily unseals.

14. Conditioner

Use your hair conditioner to shave your legs. It's a lot cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your legs very smooth. It's also a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but didn't like when you tried it in your hair.

15. Goodbye Fruit Flies

To get rid of pesky fruit flies, take a small glass, fill it 1/2 full with
apple cider vinegar and 2 drops of dish washing liquid; mix well. You will find those flies drawn to the cup and gone forever!

16. Get Rid of Ants

Put small piles of cornmeal where you see ants. They eat it, take it "home", can't digest it so it kills them. It may take a week or so, especially if it rains, but it works and you don't have the worry about pets or small children being harmed!


The heating unit went out on my dryer! The man who fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes.) He took the filter to the sink, and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material; I'm sure you know what your dryer's lint filter looks like. The hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn't go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh and that's what burns out the heating unit. You can't SEE the film, but it's there. It's what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free; that nice fragrance too, you know how they can feel waxy when you take them out of the box; this stuff builds up on your lint screen. This is also what causes dryer units to catch fire and potentially burn down your house! He also said the best way to keep your dryer working for a very long time (and to keep your electric bill lower) is to take that filter out and wash it with hot, soapy water and an old toothbrush (or other brush) at least every six months. He said that makes the life of the dryer at least twice as long!

Note: I went to my dryer and tested my screen by running water on it. The water ran through a little bit but mostly collected all the water in the mesh screen. I washed it with warm soapy water and a nylon brush; I had it done in 30 seconds. When I rinsed it the water ran right through the screen. There wasn't any puddling at all. That repairman knew what he was talking about.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


In a Grammarphobia posting (see below) I was reminded of a recent Facebook thread about pet peeves, where a Facebook friend of mine who is of the Roman Catholic faith, wrote that she finds it offensive for people to use abbreviations such as "Frisco", "Saint Nick", "Berdoo" and "Saint Rafe" ("Berdoo" is for San Bernardino and "Saint Rafe" refers to Saint Raphael, her church in Springfield).

When several people asked why those examples were offensive to her, she replied, "They are the names of our Saints and should not be abbreviated or subjected to slang."

My Facebook reply:  "Although I do not find them offensive, those examples are TRUNCATIONS, not abbreviations!"

Sometimes, I just can't help myself!

From Grammarphobia:

I left my heart in … Frisco?

Q: My North Beach uncle used to respond negatively when I used the term “Frisco” to refer to San Francisco. He considered it a huge no-no. He loved the city and thought the usage was disrespectful. What’s wrong with it? I (a Midwesterner) kind of like it.

A: Like your uncle, some San Franciscans object to the use of “Frisco,” saying it’s too touristy or it recalls the city’s gritty past.

Etymologically, it’s simply an abbreviation of “San Francisco,” perhaps introduced by 19th-century sailors who used the shortened name for the port.

We know that the nickname “Frisco” has been around since at least as far back as 1849. The city was officially named San Francisco in 1847, taking its name from the already well-known Bay of San Francisco.

Long before the official naming, though, sailors had referred to the town, the port, and the surrounding region as San Francisco.

For example, Richard Henry Dana uses “San Francisco” for both the port and the region in his sailing memoir Two Years Before the Mast (1840).

The earliest published use of “Frisco,” according to the Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang, is from an 1849 letter written during the Gold Rush.

The letter, quoted in Octavius Thorndike Howe’s book Argonauts of ’49 (1923), is dated Dec. 30, 1849, and was written by a New Englander who had recently arrived by ship. He uses both the abbreviation and the full name:

“Made good passage to ’Frisco. Captain David Carter of Beverly [Mass.] died on the passage out. Think San Francisco the most contemptible dirty place one could wish to see. Not fit for man or beast.”

Note that the letter writer uses an apostrophe before “Frisco,” so he regarded it as an abbreviation. The apostrophe appears in many early uses.

As we said, this is the earliest known example. But we suspect that earlier ones will turn up, since that letter-writer used the term so casually, as if it were well-known.

“Don’t call it Frisco. It’s San Francisco, because it was named after St. Francis of Assisi. And because ‘Frisco’ is a nickname that reminds the city uncomfortably of the early, brawling, boisterous days of the Barbary Coast and the cribs and sailors who were shanghaied. And because ‘Frisco’ shows disrespect for a city that is now big and proper and respectable. And because only tourists call it ‘Frisco,’ anyway, and you don’t want to be taken for a tourist, do you?”

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

"AS IT WERE...."

Yesterday someone used the phrase "couldn't hardly";  unlike the cartoon, I did NOT correct.

However, that usage transported me back in time: I recall my teacher Miss Digman physically recoiling when a classmate said it. I knew at the time that it was incorrect usage, and that I undoubtedly would never say or write it in my lifetime, but that vision of Miss Digman's reaction is indelibly etched in my brain and has kept me vigilant.

Definition of hardly:  scarcely
(used to qualify a statement by saying that it is true to an insignificant degree)

Adverbs such as hardly, rarely, scarcely, barely, and seldom should not be used in the same clause with a negative as it creates a double negative. Adverbs which suggest "few", "little", and "not often" should not be used with a negative.

A friend recently quizzed my using "were" instead of "was" in a sentence, "If that were the case....." Of course I know that "if" in that sentence requires the subjunctive mood and "were" is correct, but my friend said it sound "stilted", and although pleased with her use of the word "stilted", I replied, "It sounds correct, as it were."

My brothers and I laugh and imitate our teacher Mr. Kelley when we use the subjunctive mood, as Mr. Kelley would often say "As it were..." and "As is my wont...".

I think our long-gone teachers would be pleased to know they still influence us. 

Miss Digman would oftentimes use 
"je ne sais quoi".  CERTAINEMENT, indeed!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my husband.  The article below is from Sue's News, published in 2010.  It is still my favorite story about my husband.



When we moved into our home twenty-five years ago, my husband still had his hippie long hair.  Shortly after we had moved in, he was outside, tearing down a rotted fence.  He was dressed in shorts, muscle shirt, and flip-flops, with his hair tied in a pony-tail. Bob Mace, our back-door neighbor, was also one of our County Commissioners.

Gerald came in the house and told the following story:  Mr. Mace leaned across the fence and asked him, "How much do they pay you to do that kind of work?" Gerald answered, "Oh, they don't pay me anything, but the lady of the house lets me sleep with her."  I said, "Oh, no, do you think he believed you?  What did he say?"  Gerald said that he walked away quickly without saying another word. I was incredulous and asked, "Why on earth did you say that?  You usually have good manners."   Gerald laughed and said, "Oh, I think he was being a little condescending and I wanted to shock him!"

The next evening, Mr. Mace and his wife came to the door, with a pan of apple strudel, and I invited them to come in to visit. He had obviously checked the voter registration roll as he said, "We just wanted to welcome some good Democrats to the neighborhood." I told him that we had always voted for him. He proceeded to ask me about where we worked, etc. When he asked about my"hubby", I said, "You actually met him yesterday;  let me tell him you're here;  he'll be glad to see you again!"

Gerald was unaware that the Maces had come to welcome the "good Democrats" to the neighborhood. I went to the staircase and yelled; Gerald came bounding down the stairs with his hippie hair bouncing freely.

Whenever I tell the story, I say that it was ALMOST worth the price of the house to see the priceless expression on Bob Mace's face when he saw the one who slept with 'the lady of the house'!

Mr. Mace tried to apologize to Gerald, but Gerald stopped him by saying, "I've already told the story ten times and I'll probably tell it a hundred more times!" Gerald also told him that the quote wasn't original but that Carl Rowan had said it to a neighbor when he moved into an upscale suburb in Cleveland.

Gerald said, "If you're going to swipe something, make sure it's a good quote!"

Monday, June 5, 2017



My brother Norman loved our mother's gingerbread and one of my "signature dishes" now is my mother's gingerbread with lemon sauce.  My recipe from my mother:


1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 egg
1 cup Brer Rabbit molasses   (Mother was name-brand loyal)
2 1/2 cups Gold Medal flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup hot water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan.

Cream together sugar and butter.  Beat in egg and mix in molasses.  In separate bowl, sift together flour, soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and cloves.  Blend into the creamed mixture. Stir in the hot water.  Pour mixture into prepared pan.  Bake for approximately an hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool completely.


1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons corn starch
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1/4 cup lemon juice
2 tablespoons butter
Mix sugar and corn starch together.  Gradually stir in the water.  Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture boils and thickens.  Boil for one minute.  Remove from heat.  
Stir in remaining ingredients. Serve warm over gingerbread.


Sunday, June 4, 2017


Today, at a fundraiser, a friend said, "Oh, you're always dressed up;  you never look frumpy."  I answered, "That's my goal in life;  never to look frumpy."  

Later, at home, I mentioned the conversation to my brother and he said,  "She should see you in your gardening outfit!"  I laughed and said, "Oh, that's shabby chic!"  He said, "In your alliterative dreams, maybe!"

I said, "I don't think I've heard the term 'frumpy' used in years."  He said, "What's the difference between that and dowdy?"  I said, "They're synonymous, I think."  

He asked, "How about frowzy?" I said, "I'm going to look it up!"  He said, "Look up slatternly while you're at it."

FRUMPY:       dowdy and old-fashioned

DOWDY:        unfashionable and without style

FROWZY:      scruffy and neglected in appearance

SLATTERNLY:  dirty and untidy

I commented, "Isn't it interesting that all of these derogatory terms are reserved for women?"

Saturday, June 3, 2017


At a get-together, a male friend who is my contemporary, was engaged in a lengthy, lively conversation with a much younger female friend of mine;   Later, I commented to him that I was surprised that they had so much in common.  

He chuckled and said, "Yeah, she was flirting with me."  I said, "What?  Don't you know that she's GAY?"  He answered, "I'm not so old that I don't know if someone is flirting with me!" 

Later, I told the younger friend about the conversation I'd had with my friend, by saying, "You're going to think this is hilarious; he thought that you were flirting with him." 

She laughed and said, "I WAS flirting with him!"  I replied, "I can't believe that;  he has a son your age!" 

She answered, "Hey, he's still an attractive, interesting PERSON;  always want to keep those skills honed."

Friday, June 2, 2017


My mother always said, "We do the right thing because it's the right thing to do."  When I first heard Martin Luther King say, "The time is always right to do the right thing."  I told Mother, "That sounds like you."  She said, "Well, I'm older;  he must be borrowing from me."

Yesterday, in discussing current events with my brother, I asked, "Why is doing the right thing so stunning these days?"

He answered, "Maybe it's because we aren't used to seeing integrity any more."

We admire Sally Yates, the former Acting Attorney General, who was fired because she was doing her job, but she still did the right thing when she testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee.   The Deputy Attorney General Ron Rosenstein did the right thing in appointing a Special Counsel; we wonder how long he will last.  When Senators McCain and Graham make their rare criticisms of the current Administration, we jump to praise them for doing the right thing.

Mitch Landrieu, the Mayor of New Orleans, did the right thing when he ordered that four Confederate monuments be removed, but he received criticism, protests, and death threats.  He stated, "You elected me to do the right thing and this is what it looks like.  These monuments purposefully celebrate a fictional, sanitized Confederacy, ignoring the death, ignoring the enslavement and terror that it actually stood for."

The "leakers" who are being castigated by the current White House occupant, are heroes for doing the right thing, just as Mark Felt was a hero for doing the right thing.  

Thursday, June 1, 2017


It was reported that "12 noted artists" refused to paint the official White House portrait of the current resident of the White House.  My brother commented, "Too bad Peter Hurd is dead, he would have done a masterly job!" 

I was reminded of LBJ's acerbic quote when he viewed his first official White House portrait: "That's the ugliest thing I ever saw."  LBJ refused to have the portrait displayed in the White House;  the portrait is now housed at The National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

Peter Hurd was the artist who painted that "famous/infamous" portrait.  Hurd was an accomplished American landscape and portrait painter, working mainly with subjects of the American Southwest. Hurd studied with N.C. Wyeth, along with fellow students Andrew Wyeth and Andrew's sister Henriette Wyeth. Hurd and Henriette married,

Among the artists who have refused the commission to paint the portrait of the current White House occupant are:  Liza McHenry, who painted both the official White House portraits of George W. Bush and Barack Obama and Gregory Buchman, who painted Ronald Reagan's official portrait.  In a letter, Buchman wrote:

Dear Sirs or Madams:

It is with no regret at all that I turn down your offer to paint Donald Trump to look formidable, respectable, and credible on the walls of the White House for future generations.  It is not possible for me or any other artist with integrity, to paint this con man, buffoon,and utter impostor in a way that would appear intelligent, wise, magnanimous, erudite, courageous, stable, responsible, principled, or leaderly.

He is none of those things.

I will not dishonor my fellow artists, bamboozle the American public, or deceive history by painting him to look as if he ever had the qualities to be the President of The United States, even if I could.  As an alternative, I might suggest you locate one of those $5 caricature artists on the sidewalks of New York and get them to do a clownish likeness of this presidential pretender, an astoundingly criminal, albeit horribly, dangerous commander-in-chief.

Yours respectfully,
Gregory Buchman
Not--Your--Shill Artist

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


After wearying second shifts for me, Muhammad, the Supervisor of Maintenance on third shift, would offer me a ride to my car, while driving his 3-wheel cart.  During those few minutes, we had good conversations, and I admit that I used these conversations to "schmooze" and ask favors to get things fixed because he had the authority to gauge priority.

Everyone, except for me, called him "Mo".  One night, I asked, "Muhammad, are you all prepared for Ramadan?"  He said, "Well, thank you for knowing about Ramadan;  we're having problems finding a goat."  I asked, "Do you need one already dressed or on hoof?"  He stopped the cart, turned to me, obviously surprized, and asked, "Do you know of any way to get one?"  I answered, "Sure, a friend of mine raises goats."  He asked, "Where does he live?"  I chuckled and said, "Well, SHE lives in my county."  He asked, "Would she sell any?"  I said, "I'll call her tomorrow and ask her the cost, etc."

The following day, I called my friend and after three days, Muhammad came from Springfield to purchase the goat, and visited with us in my home.  He said they would be using the goat to roast for Eid-al-Fitr.  Afterwards, Muhammad mentioned my kindness several times. 

John, my best friend--at work--was a friend of Muhammad's and he made the amusing accusation that my "goat-arranging" was just to have my requisitions to be given top priority. He said, "Yeah, I heard you buttered up Mo by saying Ramadan Kareem;  what the Hell does that mean?"  I said, "You can say that, it means, 'Congratulations, it's Ramadan', or you can say 'Ramadan Mubarak', that  means 'Generous Ramadan';  both are rather like saying Happy Ramadan."  John responded, "Do you think I can get my tools fixed faster if I say it?"  I laughed and said, "You better learn about Eid-al-Fitr!"

Ramadan is celebrated worldwide by members of the Islamic faith.  It is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, this year from May 26 to June 24.  Ramadan is the commemoration of the date that the Prophet Muhammad received the Holy Quran and the month-long observance ends with the celebration of Eid-al-Fitr.

I have indeed been fortunate to know a number of people of the Islamic faith.  I have been invited to their homes for dinner, shared joy in weddings and other celebrations, and at funerals, to share in their grief.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017


My grandmother always called this day "Decoration Day". Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. 

There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with more than two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day. There is also evidence that organized women's groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War. While Waterloo, New York, was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead, each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in General Logan giving his official proclamation in 1868. It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established. Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation; it is about coming together to honor those who gave their all.

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on May 5, 1868 by General John Logan, National Commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, and was first observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). It is now celebrated in almost every state of the Union on the last Monday in May (passed by Congress with the National Holiday Act of 1971 to ensure a three day weekend for Federal holidays), though several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring the Confederate war dead: January 19 in Texas, April 26 in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Mississippi; May 10 in South Carolina; and June 3 (Jefferson Davis' birthday) in Louisiana and Tennessee.

Traditional observance of Memorial day has diminished over the years. Many Americans have forgotten the meaning and traditions of Memorial Day. At many cemeteries, the graves of the fallen are increasingly ignored or neglected. Most people no longer remember the proper flag etiquette for the day. While there are towns and cities that still hold Memorial Day parades, many have not held a parade in decades. Some people think the day is for honoring any and all dead, and not just those fallen in service to our country.

There are a few notable exceptions. Since the late 1950s, on the Thursday before Memorial Day, the 1,200 soldiers of the 3rd U.S. Infantry place small American flags at each of the more than 260,000 gravestones at Arlington National Cemetery. They then patrol 24 hours a day during the weekend to ensure that each flag remains standing. In 2004, Washington D.C. held its first Memorial Day parade in more than 60years.

To help re-educate and remind Americans of the true meaning of Memorial Day, the "National Moment of Remembrance" resolution was passed in December, 2000, which states that at 3 p.m. local time, for all Americans "To voluntarily and informally observe in their own way a moment of remembrance and respect, pausing from whatever they are doing for a moment of silence or listening to "Taps."

The Moment of Remembrance is a step in the right direction to returning the meaning back to the day. What is needed is a full return to the original day of observance. Set aside one day out of the year for the nation to get together to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country.

But what may be needed to return the solemn, and even sacred, spirit back to Memorial Day is for a return to its traditional day of observance. Many feel that when Congress made the day into a three-day weekend (in with the National Holiday Act of 1971), it made it all the easier for people to be distracted from the spirit and meaning of the day. As the VFW stated in its 2002 Memorial Day address: "Changing the date merely to create three-day weekends has undermined the very meaning of the day. No doubt, this has contributed greatly to the general public's nonchalant observance of Memorial Day."

On January 19, 1999, Senator Inouye introduced Senate Bill 189 in the Senate which proposes to restore the traditional day of observance of Memorial Day back to May 30 instead of "the last Monday in May". On April 19, 1999, Representative Gibbons introduced the bill to the House (H.R. 1474). The bills were referred the Committee on the Judiciary and the Committee on Government Reform. To date, there has been no further development on the bills.